By Teng Lauban Datu
Cotabato City Bureau Chief .
Residents of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm) will have greater access to safe and reliable water supply as well as acquire new knowledge and skills on food production and security through new projects signed recently.
The “Project for Agricultural Training for the Establishment of Peace in Mindanao” and the “Project for the Improvement of Water Supply Equipment Management Capacity for the Establishment of Peace in Mindanao” were signed by Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Country Representative Jose Luis Fernandez, and International Labor Organization Country Director Khalid Hassan with Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. as witness.
“We are honored and extremely grateful for our international peace partners’ unwavering commitment and continuing support in our quest for peace and development in Mindanao. With these projects, we are confident that the farmers and fisherfolks will be equipped with the necessary skills that will enable them to obtain sustainable sources of livelihood,” Galvez said.
The projects will be implemented by the ILO and FAO and will be funded by the Government of Japan with US$2.6 million (P135.8 million) and US$1.7 million (P88.8 million), respectively.
The FAO will be providing the locals with vocational skills training, including hands-on activities and demonstrations on crop production, integrated pest management, and harvest and post-harvest processes.
Recently, Japan pledged US$2.3 million (P120 million) for the security aspect of the Normalization program for the Bangsamoro. It also committed a US$200 million (P10.4 billion) loan for road infrastructure projects in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao. (with reports from opapp)